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How to get to Grand Canyon – South, North and West entrances

Grand Canyon lies in the northern part of Arizona, extending between Lake Powell in the east and Lake Mead in the west. 

You can enter Grand Canyon through either the South Rim, West Rim or the North Rim entrance.

South Rim is close for tourists from Los Angeles, Tusayan, Williams, Kingman, Flagstaff, Page and Valle.

If you are coming from Las Vegas, West Rim is the closest entrance.

Grand Canyon South Rim and North Rim are 210 miles from Las Vegas

No matter which rims you explore, the Grand Canyon is a spectacular sight to cherish.

Best Grand Canyon tours and tickets
# Grand Canyon South Rim guided tour
# Grand Canyon South Rim tour with Lunch 
# Grand Canyon Guided Sunset Hummer Tour 
# Grand Canyon helicopter ride and optional Hummer tour

Things to do in Grand Canyon
Get your backpacks ready for
Grand Canyon National Park

How to get to Grand Canyon South Rim

The Grand Canyon South rim lies 90 miles from Williams, Arizona. Get Directions.

Grand Canyon South Rim is the largest entrance and most visited part of the park.

Visitors can reach the South Rim by multiple public modes of transport like: 

  • By air
  • By train
  • By bus
  • By road

By air

Travelers to the Grand Canyon can fly from Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Flagstaff. 

For those who want a scenic tour, helicopter tours are available to reach the South Rim.  

Additionally, there is a Grand Canyon Airport 10 miles away from the park that can be used by those with private planes. 

However, there is limited air service to the Grand Canyon Airport.

By train

How to reach Grand Canyon by train
Image: Chris putnam (Canva)

Flagstaff is connected to the Grand Canyon by Amtrak rail transport, with a bus connection available at the station.

The Grand Canyon Railway leaves Williams, Arizona, every day, offering an exciting trip to the spectacular Grand Canyon. 

You can extend the railway journey into a railway tour into the canyon for a more immersive experience. 

Enjoy Western music and cowboy performances in the vintage train cars as you travel to the canyon. 

Six levels of service are available for the journey: 

  1. Pullman Class
  2. Coach Class
  3. First Class
  4. Observation Dome
  5. Luxury Dome
  6. Luxury Parlor

By bus

grand canyon shuttle
Image: Nps.gov

Grand Canyon tour buses are available from Flagstaff, Williams, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

These buses offer not only transport but one day guided tour of Grand Canyon South Rim.

If you want only shuttle/transport option to Grand Canyon South Rim, bus services are available from Flagstaff, Williams, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Here are the most popular bus options:

  • Greyhound Bus Lines connects Flagstaff and Williams to points across the country. 
  • Groome Transportation offers daily scheduled trips from Flagstaff and Phoenix to Williams and the South Rim (Grand Canyon Village).
  • Trans-Canyon Shuttle operates between the North and South Rims of the park once per day in each direction.

By road

Driving to South Rim is one of the best ways to reach the Grand Canyon. 

The driving directions and distances from various cities are as follows:

CityHighway Distance
North Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ67, 89Alt, 89, 64 212 miles 
Flagstaff, AZ64, 180, 8981 miles 
Phoenix, AZI-17, I-40, 64231 miles
Sedona, AZ89Alt, I-40, 64119 miles
Williams, AZ 6463 miles 
Las Vegas, NV 93, I-40, 64278 miles
Los Angeles, CA I-15, I-40, 64494 miles 
Salt Lake City, UTI-15, 14, 89, 64510 miles 
Denver, COI-25, I-40, 64859 miles 
Albuquerque, NM I-40, 64412 miles

Shuttle Buses to Explore the Park

Shuttle Buses to Explore the Park
Image: Nps.gov

If you are wondering how to reach Grand Canyon without private vehicles, then take advantage of the Shuttle bus service offered by the National Park Service. 

Shuttle buses are also available in the South Rim to explore the Grand Canyon. 

The National Park Service offers a free shuttle bus service on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

This shuttle system provides an easy and stress-free way to explore the South Rim, with trails, viewpoints, and other attractions.

ShuttleJourneyDestination
Village (Blue) Route50 minutes The Visitor Center Shuttle Campgrounds The Backcountry Information CenterMarket Plaza
Kaibab Rim (Orange) Route50 minutes Eastbound: South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki Point, and Pipe Creek Overlook.Westbound: Mather Point, Yavapai Geology Museum
Hikers’ Express Shuttle80 minutes 7 miles on Hermit Road
Hermit Road (Red) Route80 minutesBright Angel Lodge the Backcountry Information Center, the Visitor Center Shuttle Bus TerminalSouth Kaibab Trailhead
Tusayan Park & Ride (Purple) Route40 minutes village of Tusayan to the South Rim Visitor Center

How to get to Grand Canyon North Rim

The entrance to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is situated 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ, on Highway 67. Get Direction.

Jacob Lake is located in Northern Arizona, close to the Utah border, and accessed by Highway 89A. 

Road access is the only way to get to the North Rim of the Park open from May 15th to October 15th. 

The best way to reach the Grand Canyon North Rim is by

  • By Road
  • By Trans Canyon Shuttle

By Road

Driving to North Rim through one of the most scenic routes in the country is the best way to reach the Grand Canyon. 

The road routes to North Rim from various cities are as follows:

CitiesHighwaysDistance
South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ64, 89, 89Alt, 67212 miles
Flagstaff, AZ89, 89Alt, 67207 miles
Phoenix, AZI-17, I-40, 89, 89Alt, 67351 miles
Sedona, AZ89Alt, I-40, 89, 67236 miles
Williams, AZI-40, 89, 89Alt, 67242 miles
Las Vegas, NV I-15, Rt 9, RT 59, Rt 389, US 89a, Rt 67275 miles
Los Angeles, CAI-10, Rt 9, Rt 59, Rt 389, US 89a, Rt 67500+ miles
Salt Lake City, UTI-15, 14, 89, 89Alt, 67392 miles
Denver, COI-70, 89, 89Alt, 67690 miles
Albuquerque, NM I-40, 89, 89Alt, 67467 miles 

By Trans Canyon Shuttle

It provides transportation between the north and south rims of the park once daily in both directions between May 15th and October 15th. 

From October 16 to November 30, the service is only available on a limited schedule. 

Each trip takes approximately 4 and a half hours.

How to Reach Grand Canyon West Rim

West Rim is the most accessible part of the Grand Canyon, open all around the year.

Grand Canyon West Rim lies 120 miles west of Las Vegas in the Hualapai Reservation. Get Direction.

If you are traveling from Las Vegas, this is the closest entrance to Grand Canyon. Hence, it is also a popular day trip destination from Las Vegas.

There are several ways to reach Grand Canyon West Rim:

By car

If you are driving to Grand Canyon West Rim, take US-95 South to Boulder City and Highway 93 South to the West Rim.

The drive is about 2 hours.

By bus

There are two types of buses to reach the Grand Canyon West Rim – Shuttles and tour buses.

There are several bus tours available from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West.

These tours include round-trip transfer, admission to West Rim and a guided tour.

This is the most convenient option to travel to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.

If you want a self-guided tour or wish to spend more time in Grand Canyon, you can take a shuttle bus from Las Vegas to West Rim.

Due to high popularity, the shuttle buses get filled soon.

Hence, we recommend you book your shuttles in advance.

By helicopter

Helicopters are a popular option to reach Grand Canyon.

If you have the budget and wish to enjoy a bird eye view of the Grand Canyon, you can opt for a helicopter tour.

These tours typically depart from Las Vegas and take about 30 minutes to reach the West Rim.

The Las Vegas Red Rock helicopter tour is the cheapest tour available.

You can also take a sunset tour or stop for a champagne toast on your tour.

By plane

Grand Canyon does not have an airport.

Kingman, Arizona, is the closest airport and is one hour from the national park.

From Kingman, you can take a shuttle or taxi to the West Rim.

How to get to Grand Canyon – FAQs

1. Where is Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon lies in the northern part of Arizona, extending between Lake Powell in the east and Lake Mead in the west. 

The Colorado River flows through the Canyon, causing this major geographical structure. 

The Grand Canyon lies close to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Flagstaff.

2. How to reach the Grand Canyon?

South Rim is the most accessible entrance, and the closest airport to South Rim is Phoenix International Airport.

Amtrak and Grand Canyon Railway provide train services if you wish to travel by train. 

The South Rim can also be accessed by road from Phoenix, Flagstaff and Las Vegas. 

3. How to reach the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?

A drive from Las Vegas to South Rim is 275 miles and takes around 4.5 hours, while a drive to West Rim would take only 2 hours. 

Take Highway 93 south to I-40 and then Route 64 to reach South Rim from Las Vegas. 

You can also take helicopter tours from Las Vegas or commercial airlines from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. 

Day tours from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon are also available.

4. How to reach the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff?

The best way to reach Grand Canyon from Flagstaff is by taking a shuttle bus or railway tour. 

If you plan to drive to Grand Canyon from Flagstaff, take Highway 180. 

Also, there are tours from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon that provide round transportation and many other features.

5. What city is the Grand Canyon in?

Grand Canyon lies in the east end of Las Vegas.

It also lies north of Interstate 40 near Flagstaff and Williams.

6. What state is the Grand Canyon in?

A major part of the Grand Canyon is in the state of Arizona. 

It also touches the states of Nevada, Utah and Colorado. 

7. Where do you fly into to go to Grand Canyon?

If you plan to fly to Grand Canyon, fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. 

This is the major international airport near South Rim. 

From the airport, the South Rim is 231 miles away.

8. Is the Grand Canyon closer to Las Vegas or Phoenix?

It depends on which Rim you want to reach. 

Phoenix lies 53 miles closer to the Grand Canyon South Rim than Las Vegas. 

Phoenix is the closest city to Grand Canyon National Park.

Las Vegas is closer to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon than Phoenix.

9. Which airport is closest to Grand Canyon?

The airport closest to Grand Canyon is Flagstaff/Pulliam (FLG). 

It is 90m minutes from the South Rim. 

However, it does not offer major international connections.

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) and Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) are the nearest major international airport. 

10. Is it better to drive to Grand Canyon or take a tour?

Driving to Grand Canyon is an experience on its own and provides tourists the flexibility of touring the place at their own pace. 

But tours are more efficient, convenient and cost-effective. 

Tours provide expert guides for the more informational trip and cover all permits and tickets. 

11. How far is Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?

West Rim lies close to Las Vegas and is approximately 130 miles. It takes 2 hours to reach West Rim from Las Vegas. 

A drive from Las Vegas to South Rim or North Rim is over 275 miles and takes around 4.5 hours. 

Featured Image: Nps.gov

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